Weekly Green Tau

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About the Green Tau

The Green Tau blog comes from my love of life, of the natural world and of those human endeavours which are kind and generous. This love itself stems from my Christian faith which prioritises living life well and seeks to establish heaven on earth so all may live life to the full.

I want to use this blog to reach out to people, to inform them about the facts and the dangers of climate change, to point to changes we can make, and ways in which we can change the behaviour of businesses and governments,  to minimise the adverse affects of climate change and at the same time achieve fair and sustainable lifestyles that benefit everyone. 

In the short term the Green Tau blog will focus on COP26 climate conference, why it’s important and what it can achieve.

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 Counting on …day 327

3rd October 2022 

“Help create the People’s Plan for Nature by sharing your thoughts about the future of nature in the UK. What do you love about nature in the UK? What would you miss if it disappeared?”

Join the conversation and share your views as part of a nationwide initiative organised by WWF, the National Trust and the RSPB. Use the link below.

Our insights will help resource the planned People’s Assembly which is to tasked with producing the People’s Plan for Nature by the spring of 2023.

https://peoplesplanfornature.org/

Proper 22

2nd October 2022

Reflections (the readings are at the end)

The Book of Lamentations contains a series of laments made in response to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian forces. In today’s exert, the writer mourns over an abandoned Jerusalem. Jerusalem now has no useful purpose: it has lost its identity and its raison d’être. It has been overtaken by events. 

 Not – thankfully – through war, but many towns cities in the UK feel abandoned. The vitality of their shopping centres sapped by empty units and boarded up shop fronts. Their hubs of industry and employment diminished as old manufacturing processes and products have become defunct, the skills of their workforce no longer of use. Derelict and disused sites cast a blighted shadow over the land. With the loss of jobs, goes a loss of self worth and civic pride. As incomes fall, so the reliance on overstretched public services rises. Residents become trapped unable to escape the encroaching poverty – and poverty brings a further deterioration of living standards. Levelling up, re invigorating the economy, re-equipping the people remains an unfulfilled promise. Borrowing from the writings of St Paul, since we are one body, we all suffer when one part suffers – but perhaps not so acutely in the wealthier suburbs. 

Why is Jerusalem in such a sorry plight? Because of its people’s sinfulness. Because the people chose to worship gods other than the one true God. Because the people choose not to live their lives in accordance with God’s ways. Rather they choose to be greedy, self interested and acquisitive. Might the same criticisms be turned towards us in 2022? Both our government and our economic model favours constant growth over sufficiency, personal gain over social good, tax cuts for the rich and benefit cuts for the poor. We are stuck in an economy that is tied to the fossil fuel industry which cannot see beyond the promise of profits, to the threat of the climate crisis; which refuses to listen to the prophets of the age and refuse to shift allegiance to renewable energy.

Today’s offering for a psalm is a further exert from Lamentations. The desperate state of affairs still weighs heavy on the writer but now there is also a sense of hope. ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,’ asserts the writer, and ‘therefore I will hope in Him’.  Last week we heard how Jeremiah expressed his confidence that at some point in the future God’s people would return once to their city and its lands. Have we that hope, that vision, that our towns and cities can be place of happiness and self worth and sufficiency, where all can share in the wealth and vitality of a just society?

The Letter to Timothy is full of inspiring words. Our faith is a gift, a treasure entrusted to us by God! We are to guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit. It is a grace by which God gives a spirit of power and of love and of self discipline. I wonder if we exercise these powers enough? Or are they like muscles we forget we have and therefore forget to use? How should we be using these gifts? In declaring the good news: talking about and living out in our lives the Kingdom values that Jesus has shown. These are the values that our desolated towns need. These are the values that will restore justice, that will level up society, that will enrich lives and restore balance in the natural environment. 

Should we then be surprised by what Jesus says about what faith can achieve? Let us be confident in living by faith, living lives true to Jesus’s kingdom values, and let us share this good news so that  these values will shape the whole world.

Lamentations 1:1-6

How lonely sits the city
that once was full of people!

How like a widow she has become,
she that was great among the nations!

She that was a princess among the provinces
has become a vassal.

She weeps bitterly in the night,
with tears on her cheeks;

among all her lovers
she has no one to comfort her;

all her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
they have become her enemies.

Judah has gone into exile with suffering
and hard servitude;

she lives now among the nations,
and finds no resting place;

her pursuers have all overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.

The roads to Zion mourn,
for no one comes to the festivals;

all her gates are desolate,
her priests groan;

her young girls grieve,
and her lot is bitter.

Her foes have become the masters,
her enemies prosper,

because the Lord has made her suffer
for the multitude of her transgressions;

her children have gone away,
captives before the foe.

From daughter Zion has departed
all her majesty.

Her princes have become like stags
that find no pasture;

they fled without strength
before the pursuer.

Lamentations 3:19-26

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness
is wormwood and gall!

My soul continually thinks of it
and is bowed down within me.

But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
his mercies never come to an end;

they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul that seeks him.

It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.

2 Timothy 1:1-14

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I am grateful to God– whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did– when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Luke 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, `Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, `Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, `Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, `We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!'”

Counting on ….day 325 

1st October 2022

According to the Woodlands Trust there are more than half a million miles of

hedgerow in the UK. Hedgerows are important for biodiversity providing a habitat for various wild plants, birds, small mammals, insects and beetles. Hedges in towns are as those in rural areas. Down the road one house has a thick privet hedge which is always full of the chirping of sparrows. If you haven’t got room for a hedge you might consider creating a dead hedge which will provide shelter for various wild creatures. 

 Counting on … day 324

30th September 2022

Autumn is a good time to plant trees. If you have space why not choose one for

your garden – not all tree are big and fruit trees produce an edible reward too! 

Brogdale in Kent holds the National Fruit Collection and has over 4000 varieties of fruit trees including  apples, pears, quinces, plums , cherries and cobnuts – including many heritage varieties. 

Prayers for Creation

30th September 

Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. Luke 12:27

You Lord, are the source of all good things: 

We praise you.

You call us to tend and care for your creation: 

May we strive to do your will.

You have made us as brothers and sisters with all that lives: 

May we live together in peace.

A reading from Job 12:7-9

But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the air, and they will tell you;

ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.

Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?

A response:

Amongst the woods and forests,

between oaks and cedars,

God’s name is holy.

In the seas and oceans,

with whales and sea urchins,

God’s name is holy.

Across the moors and meadows,

with curlews and plovers,

God’s name is holy.

By riverbanks and streams,

following eels and kingfishers,

God’s name is holy .

High up on mountain peaks and glaciers,

sheltering in cwms and gullies,

God’s name is holy .

Gathered in barns and hives,

buzzing with bees and bats,

God’s name is holy .

Hidden under stones and snuck into crevices,

lying low with lizards and spiders,

God’s name is holy .

In all corners of the world

and where ever life exists,

God’s name is holy!

Amen.

Living God, 

when we neglect to see the beauty around us, 

open our eyes.

When we neglect to hear the music around us, 

open our ears.

When we neglect to feel your presence, 

awaken our senses.

When we neglect to receive your love, 

open our hearts.

Living God, 

re-inspire us with your Spirit, 

so that in us too your name is holy.

Amen. 

Subject index for Eco Tips and Green Tau Weekly

Carbon footprint – appliances

Carbon footprint – domestic heating 

Carbon footprint – food 

Carbon footprint  – of things

Carbon footprint- transport

Climate Crisis – activism: consumer power

Climate Crisis – activism: creating system change

Climate Crisis – activism: Just Stop Oil – creating system change

Climate Crisis –  activism: me or future generations 

Climate crisis – carbon bombs

Climate crisis – carbon sinks

Climate crisis  – COP26 introduction

Climate Crisis – COP26 tonic or green wash

Climate Crisis – COP26 count me in 

Climate crisis – extreme weather events

Climate Crisis – fossil fuel divestment

Climate crisis – G7 summer 2021

Climate crisis – G7 wave of hope

Climate Crisis – rising sea levels

Climate Crisis – Thames flood risk 

Climate crisis – tipping points

Climate grief 

Climate Justice – 2

Climate justice – 1

Climate justice- activism

Earth overshoot day

Energy – Electricity

Energy – fossil fuel divestment

Energy – Heating

Energy saving in the home

Environment- natural wealth

Farming – biodiversity and regenerative agriculture 

Farming – biodiversity and food production

Farming – what about the cows?

Fairly traded?

Fairly traded – B corps

Fairly traded? – sugar

Fairly traded? – palm oil 

Fairly traded? – chocolate 

Faith reflections – Climate Justice – 2

Faith reflections – Climate justice – 1

Faith reflections – fossil fuel divestment 

Faith reflections – hope

Faith reflections – Jubilee

Faith reflections – Lent

Faith reflections – life choices 

Faith reflections – solidarity and knowing our place in the ecosystem

Faith reflection – wealth and greed

Other reflections can be found in Lent Reflections and Advent Reflections. Falling in Love may be of interest too. 

Finance and money

Finance – green money

Food – biodiversity and food production

Food – carbon footprint 

Food – LOAF principles 

Food

Food – justice; doughnut economics

Food jams and preserves

Food waste 

Gardens local biodiversity 

Gardens biodiversity and regenerative gardening

Gardens Birds

Gardens as nature reserves -1

Gardens as nature reserves -2 

Gardens – rainwater

Gardens – creating a carbon sink

Green support groups

Home -Household appliances 

Home – keeping warm in winter 

Home – keeping cool in summer

Home – Spring cleaning

Home – see also Carbon Footprints above

Lifestyles – fifteen minute city

Lifestyle – positive tipping points

Lifestyle – wealth

Lifestyle – there is no ‘away’ in a throw away society

Lifestyle – water conservation

Packaging

Plastic 

Plastic pollution 

Plastic recycling 

Pollution – plastic

Recycling 

Recycling  – the circular economy

Recycling – E-waste

Recycling – there is no ‘away’ in a throw away society

Recycling  – plastic

Recycling – what happens to the plastic that goes in our recycling bin

Recycling – why?

Stuff

Stuff – Stewardship of things

Stuff – Things to Enjoy

Sustainability and biodiversity 

Sustainability – the circular economy

Sustainability- earth overshoot day

Sustainability and economic development: Lambeth Conference

Sustainable living  

Sustainability – loss and damage fund

Sustainability- refills

Sustainability- systems change

Sustainability – creating system change

Sustainability- Just Stop Oil – creating system change

Travel

Travel – active travel

Travel – carbon footprint 

Travel – fifteen minute city

Vegan cakes

Vegan swopping to a vegan diet

Vegan – what about the cows?

Water conservation

Zero waste

Waves:

The gentle to and fro of the wave, 

back and forth, 

soothing,

gently rocking, 

Loving God, calm us, and

move us as peace-makers.

The persistence of the wave, 

never stopping, 

never quitting, 

gradually wearing down all resistance

Loving God, sustain us, and 

make us a force for good.

The power of the wave, 

building up, 

growing in size, 

acquiring energy as it moves 

Loving God, strengthen us, and 

harness our energy to do what is right.

The breaker, poised but still moving, 

ready to break – 

to break out, to break up, 

to break forth

Loving God, contain us, and 

prepare us to spill out into the world.

The crest of the wave, exploding, 

releasing energy 

that breaks down barriers 

and undermines obstructions

Loving God, free us, and 

use us to reform the structures of the world.

Storm wave, tidal wave, 

tsunami,

that brokers no discussion, 

that overwhelms all

Loving God, override us, 

and free the world from its own vices.

Amen.

Counting on …day 323

29th September 2022

In a follow up to Loss and Damage Action day last week, there is a petition you can sign asking your MP to sign an early day motion on this matter and urging positive action in the run up to COP27, which is now only 6 weeks away. 

Counting on … day 322 

28th September 2022

The Climate Coalition is running a project called Letters to Tomorrow:-

“Write a letter to a loved one in the future to call for political action on climate change now.

Because the future of our planet isn’t written yet. The climate crisis is affecting our lives already, and it’s only going to get worse for the next generation unless we take action now to get it under control – because the years will tick away before we know it.” 

Here’s the link https://www.letterstotomorrow.com/

And here’s my letter